Saturday, March 28, 2009

Freaky Friday

So I know I've gone a bit without blogging (and yes, the car is out of the ditch without damage). But I've had a weird two weeks. I haven't really slept well, nor very much. Last night, I came home from work, zapped a frozen meal, and after unsuccessful attempts to log on to the internet, laid down in bed and listened to some tunes.

I soon fell asleep, probably around 7:30 p.m. My dream was extremely bizarre - most usually are. In the dream, there were appearances by relatives from Rhode Island, the family in Maine, something about hunting, and then I clearly remember drinking a lot of Diet Pepsi. Then I am with my Mom, and we are driving around and it feels eerily familiar, as if I have driven the route in a dream before. We pull into a parking lot that reminds me of the TJ Maxx lot in Bangor. There are numerous horse trailers and people about, along with horses. In fact, one horse was loose, and was being too familiar for my taste. I'm not sure, but I think that's when Mom morphed into Leroy Jethro Gibbs. That's right, the Mark Harmon character from NCIS. We walk into a store, and we meet with Sheldon Hochs, a character from CSI:NY. He shows some video that is proof that the owner of the loose horse is actually targeting us (and now Gibbs has morphed back into my mother).

And then the attack cat comes into the mix. Apparently, the Crazy Horse Chick has a crazy cat. I walk back out to the parking lot, and immediately, I feel cornered and then I am wrestling with the cat. I vaguely recall saying something along the lines of "bring it on!" Then I'm squeezing the cat as it's clawing at me. And just to be clear, this was not a "ROWWR!" cougar or lion cat, it was a house cat. I wake up, clawing at my stomach.

After taking a minute to realize that it was, in fact, just a bad dream, I look at the clock, thinking it's the middle of night. Clock says 8:58. So I decide to check the basketball scores on my phone. When I pick up my phone, I see on the screen "1 new message" so I opened up my phone and see it's a picture message. I opened the message to see an obscene picture of a part of the female anatomy that morphs into an evil looking cat as the theme song to Halloween plays. The message informs me that I now have mad pussy disease and have to pass it along to get rid of it. It was sent to me at 8:51 pm by Big Pete, so I partially blame him for the whole freak-out fiasco.

I know, I know, it's a coincidence. But it still freaked me out! And to top it off, Michigan St. beat Kansas, so I need Louisville to beat Michigan State, and UNC to win the National Championship for me to have a chance at winning some money.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Towing Saga To Be Continued...

So apparently my little incident with the car is worse than I thought. Because my neighbor's vehicle is blocking part of the driveway (and she is not home or not answering) I have to wait before I can get all four tires back on solid ground.

And there was no call from AAA, a guy just showed up. But he's very cool and explained my options to me: lift the ass end, front may slide into ditch and bumper will likely get crushed. Drag the front end, still might be some damage to rear end, but chances are it will be less than those for ass end removal. I can't wait for tomorrow...

But I will have to wait until neighbor moves her vehicle so tow truck can get through.

Tires and Testicles

As the saying goes, if it has tires or testicles it's going to give you problems. And so mine continue. Once again, I have had to call AAA. You can't accuse me of not getting my membership dues' worth of service. This time, I actually need to have a two truck haul Freddie the Mercury out of the ditch. I don't think "ditch" does the situation's really more of a ravine I managed to back into.

Here's the story. I ran out to the P-Chop to pick up some vittles. I come back, and pull into my driveway, immediately thinking perhaps I should have pulled in on the other end. But I figured, I'll be fine. Well, I pulled up behind the house and saw that two of the vehicles were parked in such a way that made me extremely nervous about pulling the tank up through to my regular spot. Irritating, but I decided it was no big deal, I'd just back down the driveway and pull around to the other side.

I start backing down at a pace that was probably a bit too fast, and just as I thought, "I really should slow down and make sure I'm backing out straight" when THUD. Car is now staying in one spot. I put the car in drive, and attempted to head back up the driveway. Nothing but the sound of wheels spinning (which is almost a lovely phrase if you're being metaphorical). I opened the door and looked at the back tire. It had every reason to spin as it no longer had any driveway beneath it. I hopped down into the ravine known as the gutter around the driveway, and examined the front tire. There is apparently still enough snow around for the tire to be stuck in four inches of it. Lovely. I decided to just suck up my pride and call AAA.

As is standard protocol (and I would certainly be one to I relayed in my blog entry "Lockout Strout"), I was informed the truck would be there within an hour. So I waited. Sure enough, forty minutes later, I spot a truck. I happily, albeit a bit sheepishly, went out to greet the driver. He checks all around the car, and then gets down on one knee and looks underneath the car. Then he turns to me and says, "I'm going to have to call AAA and have them send a truck with a boom because that's sitting on the ground and all I can do with the flat bed is pull it but I don't want to risk damage." That was fair enough, and somehow, seemed just about right. He then told me he'd have them call me to let me know when I could expect the truck.

That was 39 minutes ago. Still no call from AAA. I'm hoping to get a call soon, but if not, I'll certainly call them. Once this fiasco is sorted out, I look forward to calling my mother and letting her know what her genius daughter has done now to warrant a call to AAA.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Look at this photograph...

So the picture behind the title of the blog is part of the view from my parents' back porch. Since it faces the west, when the sun sets, it is really gorgeous. I took this picture last summer, and I like how it turned out. To me, it's a great representation of Cornville because, well, there is actually corn in the shot. Also, the mountains remind me of the days of my youth, when all the kids (and quite a few adults) had these t-shirts with a simple drawing of mountains and fields. We're talking about six, maybe seven, lines strategically placed within a circle.

On the outside of the circle, the slogan read "See Cornville and Live." This became the unofficial slogan of the town. I'm not exactly sure what it means, or what it meant when it was created. I suppose it's better than "See Cornville and Die, "See Cornville and Go Blind," or "See Cornville and Never Want To See It Again". Those would be the suggestions of the more cynical citizens of Cornville, or Cornvillains, as I like to think of them.

Seriously, what is the appropriate noun for residents of this town? Cornvillites? Cornvillagers? Stalks and Ears?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Morality of Mice and Men

I think I may have inherited (or possibly learned) an extreme phobia of rodents from my mother. She has also, apparently, passed it along to my oldest brother. Anyway, this winter I noticed the sound of scurrying little feet across the ceiling above me, but didn't think about it too much. Then, I started noticing the telltale signs of rodent presence in the apartment in the form of feces around the sink. Awesome.

Now, I have had experiences with crafty little mice before. The last apartment I lived in, my roommate had me set two traps. They were the old school, cheap, break-your-finger-off-if-you're-not-careful kind of traps. We placed them near the suspected entrance and went about our business. I had shut the lights off, and just started to drift off, when the living room lights popped on. CB did her best Roy Scheider impression when she appeared in my doorway saying, "We're gonna need more traps."

In about twenty minutes, we had snuffed out two field mice. The strangest part of that whole night was the reaction of CB's hamster. Dumbass was sitting in a corner of his cage staring out toward the kitchen (yes, she kept that stupid thing in the kitchen). He was literally sitting like a fat old man. CB thought he was scared, and proceeded to console him. I believe he lured them into the kitchen and was hoping to make new friends, only to see them murdered before his very eyes.

Fast forward a year or so to my new apartment. I feel the need to state that I do not care to see animals suffer, but my health and safety is far more important than the life of a field mouse. But I won't use a glue trap or other traps that keep the mice live because I can't handle them, for fear of being bitten. I mean, Dumbass bit, so what are the chances his country cousins aren't going to do the same? So as I shopped for new traps recently, I wanted ones that would likely kill immediately. I'd like to think the mouse is happily nibbling away at the peanut butter when - WAP! - it gets overnight-expressed to reunite with its mother in Mouse Heaven.

Another phobia I have is a phobia of pain. So I decided to avoid the old school traps this time around. When I set them previously, I actually used some small rope so my fingers were as far away as possible. Another option available was an enclosed trap, if I was willing to pay a bit more, and then there was a bit of a compromise, which I settled on. The traps I purchased were a hybrid between the aforementioned finger-killers and a plastic chip clip. I set both traps, one on the floor and the other the counter.

Later that night, I heard a thumping. It was a thumping of plastic on wood. As I listened, I also heard what can only be described as a mouse squealing and/or wheezing. I could not bring myself to get up and put the poor thing out of its misery. The next morning I found the trap wedged under the board where the mice went under the sink. I left it there, and placed the second trap on the floor, near the trash can. When I returned from work, I looked in and saw a newly deceased mouse. I felt horrible, because I like to just go about my business while God's other creatures do the same. But when God's other creatures start crapping on my plates...somebody's gotta go.

I picked up the trap and dropped it in the garbage. I didn't care about losing the trap. Finally I garnered the courage to pick up the other trap and investigate. The front had been chewed. I opened the trap but did not see anything until I looked closer at the peanut butter, and there it was - one tiny gray paw. Well, I knew what that meant. I had to check the other mouse.

Hoping against hope I had caught the most masochistic little mouse that ever was, I checked his feet. One, two, three, four. Crap. There was another mouse, or three-quarters of one, hanging out somewhere.

Well, I reset the trap, and placed it on the floor and decided to give it a few more days to see if I could put Stumpy out of its misery. One night, as I lay on the futon catching up on CSI via the internet, something catched the corner of my eye, and I spot a field mouse making its way over a pillow on the floor toward my general vicinity. I did not become my mother, screaming bloody murder and climbing to the highest point in the room. I sat up quickly, and kept an eye on it, but apparently, he did not expect me to be there because he took off. Later, I headed to the bathroom, and saw a mouse making its way to the haven under the sink. That rodent was moving way too fast to be Stumpy. Yet, the presence- or, more appropriately, "presents" - of a mouse has not been seen, so I'm not sure if he's a squatter, or just scoping out the territory.

On a more somber note, I do believe I have smelled Stumpy rotting away somewhere in the house. And that was really what I was trying to avoid by using the traps instead of poison. So yes, I fear rodents (and not to mention insects) but I also feel horrible extinguishing them because, you know, we're all just trying to get along down here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kids these days

So I thought it was refreshing to be around a pair of five/six-year-olds today. As they ran around the post office, yelling "Puppy! Can we get a puppy?!" I couldn't help but laugh. They weaved in and out of grumpy adults waiting to mail packages like a football player would weave through a defense, completely oblivious when they would run into people, like we weren't really there at all. Some days, I tend to get a bit annoyed with kids at large like that, but today, it wasn't so bad.

Later I had to swing through the grocery store and I saw an elderly man walking a young child down an aisle, and it reminded me so much of my youngest nephew, I literally ached. For the most part, I do pretty well being away from home (home will always be Maine). But sometimes...I get a little homesick.